Is Newport English?

8 08 2006

Recently ive become very active at the BBC forums for South East Wales, which can be found here. There is quite a sizeable amount of individuals on there that are quite prejudiced, not just with those that say they are “Welsh” and from Newport/Casnewydd, but also with Welsh language and the Welsh assembly. If there is EVER a perfect example of centrists who would rather see the Welsh language wiped out as well as the assembly it’s here.

Now I must be part of an “unusual” and fringe generation to consider myself “Welsh” being born in Newport. Apparently because Monmouthsire was “part of England”, this ultimately means that Newport will always be English. What some individuals fail to recognise is that before England claimed it as it’s own, it was Welsh. Back further parts of Northern England and South West England were Welsh speaking areas, it’s unbelievable the amount of double standards that are expressed there.

The question I ask however, is this just specific to Newport county? or is this just one example of all border cities, towns and villages right across Wales?

More worringly are those individuals that claim to be “Welsh” but are quite happy to let the language die and/or allow the Welsh Assembly to be dispersed completely. Perhaps that’s too nationalistic in tone?
One guy even complained about having bilingual leaflets and bills in his post!

I was enlightened in the fact that I must be part of a generation (or two) that IS embracing, not just the language of Wales but it’s culture and history too. I believe alot of the posters that participate in the discussions were born and raised at a time when Monmouthshire was “part of England”. So I suppose that explains at least part of the crap they speak.

One good thing I have noticed is that my recent challenging opinions of their statements have brought alot of other Welshies out. 😉

Word of warning: Expect extreme prejudiced views on those boards.




7 responses

9 08 2006

I’ve had to stop visiting BBC board due to the high blood pressure it gives me. The prejudice displayed against the Welsh langugae is incredible and seem like a spot for the bigots to let off steam.

There are parallels with the south east of Wales and the north east of Wales in both the % that speak Welsh and also those who identify themselves as being or not being Welsh. The big differenct is that in north east Wales the % percentage that are born outside Wales are higher than the south east, in many electoral wards it is higher than 50%. This has led to quite a bit of friction in areas such as Bwlce (Buckley) and Fflint. Of course it’s the Welsh’s fault for insisting on maintiaing that they’re Welsh not the other way round. The place is so built up that there’s a continuous conurbation [sp?] with lot’s of people moving from merseyside and the genuinly think that they are still in England.

I certainly believe that there’s an increased feeling of Welshness in the south east in present day counties of Newport and Monmouthshire. Good luck with educating fellow BBC posters, but don’t let them wreak your head.

9 08 2006
13 08 2006

Thanks for those links Rhys. Diolch. I honestly didnt know such people existed anymore. At least they’re a minority.

4 11 2006

Buon luogo, congratulazioni, il mio amico!

5 04 2009
Owain Rick Glyndwr

I’ve always thought it was a problem that the English, for the most part, consider themselves “British” first. This blurs things a lot as, of course, England is Britain – and Wales is Britain – so “What’s the difference?” they can say.

If our neighbours and friends the English had a stronger sense of identity, and one that did not contain the Welsh, it might be helpful. Of course, if the European Union try to force regions onto the English that threat might ignite English nationism. I don’t know what it would like (!) but I’m sure whatever they came up with would not include Welshness.

4 06 2009

I am responding to this article very late but stumbled upon it by accident. I have an insight into this as I have married a Newport girl but originally come from the north east of Wales (around the Wrexham area) I have had to block the bbc messageboards for exactly the same reason as others here have tried to resist the temptation to respond to these nutcase ‘English’ Newport people. I sometimes have a sneak peek at what they are arguing about and yes, it usually is the same anti-Welsh bile that they have been peddling for about 2-3 years!! They are still insisting on Newport and Monmouthshire having been the victim of some bizarre underground plot to hand them over from England to Wales. Although these people may have been told that they were English, just looking a little in the history books and examining the history of the area would have given them a clue that their ‘Englishness’ was built on little more than a legal administration oversight in 1542 and hell of a lot of wishful thinking. I suppose all the Welsh placenames in Gwent were invented in the 1960’s by language crazed zealots who were hellbent on making their region of merry England, Welsh. They really are putrid people who must spend their entire lives in a cultural limbo. I am sure that most rational, real English people would see them as a bunch of weirdos at best and probably wouldn’t want them to be part of their country anyway.
It drove me to distraction the way the English democrats took it upon themselves to stand in the Assembly elections on their stance of letting Monmouthshire ‘decide’. I am just glad that they managed to rack up such a pitiful level of support.
Having read your piece, I can see that there are people in Newport who are proud to be Welsh. With 2 Welsh medium schools in the city and a generation of kids who at least know the words to the anthem, perhaps, as a city we can move on from the awful prejudice of the past to a fully inclusive and vibrant future where all of our citizens can prosper, those Welsh, English or whatever speaking. Thanks for restoring my faith in our city!

26 12 2014

Im from Newport and can tell you no true Newportian would ever class themselves as English… National pride in Newport is high (welsh). In fact most guys would class it as fighting talking being called English. My grandfather was born in Newport, nearly 100 years ago and he was also very full of welsh national pride… As for the Newport/ Monmouthshire debate… Anyone who knows anything about history will tell you that Newport has always belonged to wales and quoting single acts of parliament as reasons not to include Monmouthshire into wales are only fooling themselves… Their has been periods at best where you could argue that Monmouthshire belonged to neither wales nor England… But the truth is historic boundaries include Newport and Monmouthshire as wales, old church parishes include newport as part of wales also, the language spoken in newport up to 1850 was a majority welsh, local places names are a majority welsh also. In my opinion, the reason for Monmouthshire’s move to become part of England stems from local powerful families of the region during the early industrial rev and before wanting to obtain seats of power in Westminster’s parliament. Being welsh these families would have been at a massive disadvantage so they wanted to distance themselves and their manor homes from welsh heritage. But that doesn’t change the fact that until 1850 most family names were welsh, most spoke welsh and local place names were all welsh throughout Monmouthshire and Newport…. Finally and my last point is that Newport has undisputedly and clearly been labeled in wales and on welsh maps for over a 1000 years whilst Newport has never been included on English maps, at worst Monmouthshire was included with welsh maps as ‘wales and Mon’… Never on English maps as ‘England and Mon’. It is these reasons that firmly place all on Monmouthshire in wales. Guys look at the evidence stop arguing and see the facts…

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